Arrow season 4 saw Oliver transition from the Arrow to the Green Arrow while taking on the magic-wielding Damien Darhk.
Arrow‘s fourth season was a roller coaster ride, opening with Oliver and Felicity living in domestic bliss and ending with the team completely fractured — and down one member. The season also spent quite a lot of energy building up the new spin-off, Legends of Tomorrow, in its first half.
We recap what you need to remember going into Arrow season 5.
When the operatives of H.I.V.E. became too much for the remaining members of Team Arrow — Laurel, Thea and Diggle — to handle on their own, Laurel and Thea recruited Oliver and Felicity to return to Star City (renamed in honor of Ray Palmer) to help out after months of living happily as a couple.
With Roy Harper having faked the Arrow’s death in season 4 in order to take suspicion off of Oliver, Oliver couldn’t take on the same identity he’d left behind; instead, he donned a new suit (much closer to the Green Arrow costume of the comics) and became the Green Arrow.
Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E.
Ra’s al Ghul teased Damien Darhk’s existence in season 3, indicating the two were once friends and rivals for becoming the next head of the League of Assassins. When the current Ra’s was selected, Darhk left the League, took some waters from the Lazarus Pit to extend his life and gathered followers: H.I.V.E.
In Star City, Darhk sought to end the world while saving only a select group of people in an ark under the city. The magic he used made him nearly impossible to defeat. Meanwhile, his wife, Ruvee, ran for mayor against Oliver and won in order to take control of the municipal works that would notice the underground ark.
Oliver eventually defeated Darhk, killing him after learning how to counter his magic (with the use of the tattoo he received from John Constantine on Lian Yu).
The return of Andy Diggle
Diggle had long believed his brother had been killed by Deadshot. It turns out, however, that Andy was alive and a member of H.I.V.E. Though it seemed like Diggle might be starting to rehabilitate his brother, Andy turned out to be spying for Darhk all along.
When Andy continued to go after Diggle, Lyla and even baby Sara, and warned Diggle that he would never stop, Diggle was left with no other choice but to kill him.
Felicity’s injury and the return of Papa Smoak
Felicity had a busy season, as she was shot in the spine by H.I.V.E. in the mid-season finale. Though she survived, she was paralyzed. After spending a few episodes in a wheelchair, she was given a chip, developed by Curtis, to help her walk again (which I wrote about here).
Additionally, Felicity had to deal with the return of her father, Noah Kuttler, aka the Calculator. His return brought about mixed emotions for both Felicity and her mother, as Noah did seem to want to reconnect with Felicity — teaming up with her to fight Darhk and even taking a bullet for her — but he also used her access to snoop into Palmer Technology.
Felicity also got a nickname: Overwatch.
The fall of Olicity
Though the season began with Oliver and Felicity living in domestic bliss, their relationship fell apart when Felicity learned that Oliver had a child and didn’t tell her about him.
Barry Allen warned Oliver not to lie to Felicity about his son, but Oliver didn’t heed his advice and kept the secret because the child’s mother asked him to. Felicity, heartbroken by the lies and return to Oliver’s old nature of secret-keeping, ended their relationship. Felicity left the team for a time but came back.
And let’s not forget the fake wedding.
The loss of Laurel
In perhaps the most controversial moment of the season, Damien Darhk stabbed Laurel to send a message to Quentin for testifying against him in court. Though Laurel survived surgery long enough to make Oliver promise her something, she went into cardiac arrest and died in front of her friends.
At her funeral, Oliver revealed her identity as the Black Canary to the world.
The fracturing of the team
At the end of Arrow season 4, the team broke apart. Thea, having lost another love interest and realizing she’d never taken any time for herself after her resurrection, decided to go on an extended vacation. Diggle, filled with guilt for killing his brother, re-enlisted in the military. And, of course, Laurel had passed away.
Felicity stayed behind with Oliver, who became the interim mayor of Star City, though the two did not get back together as a couple.
Other notable moments
- Laurel, upon learning of the Lazarus Pit, brought Sara’s body to Nanda Parbat. Though Ra’s initially refused to resurrect Sara, he eventually gave in. Sara returned feral, but after joining forces with John Constantine (yes, from the cancelled NBC series), Laurel and Oliver rescued Sara’s soul, reviving her completely.
- Felicity discovered that Ray was not dead; rather, he’d shrunk himself and had been unable to return to his regular size. The team rescued him, giving him a second chance at life.
- We also met Curtis Holt, a tech genius who Felicity came to rely on at Palmer Technologies. He was eventually brought into the fold of Team Arrow, though he decided the life of a vigilante was not for him. He’s destined to become Mr. Terrific.
- Nyssa took control of the League of Assassins and disbanded it.
- Amanda Waller was killed, and Lyla became the head of A.R.G.U.S.
- Oh, and Malcolm Merlyn is still alive. For some unknown reason.
Arrow season 5 premieres Wednesday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.